Initial examination of the validity of 'consideration of future consequences' scales in an adolescent sport sample


Consideration of future consequences (CFC) represents the extent one considers the long-term implications of current actions (Strathman et al., 1994). Unexamined in sport, CFC may influence individuals' capability to self-regulate long-term deliberate practice (Barone et al. 1997). We compared the factor structure and concurrent validity of the original CFC-12 scale to our scale (CFC-A) which had added items (totaling 17) reflecting achievement striving among adolescents. Seventy-eight athletes (41 females, ages 13-18) completed both scales, and questions on performance level, deliberate practice amounts, and sport aspirations. We examined fit indices for three measurement models: unidimensional CFC-12, two-factor (Future, Immediate) CFC-12, two-factor (Future, Immediate) CFC-A. Unidimensional CFC-12 showed very poor fit (CFI=.72) and inferior item loadings. After eliminating two items, CFC-A showed superior fit (CFI=.92) to the two-factor CFC-12 (CFI=.88) and stronger item loadings on Future (7 items>.54) and Immediate (8 items>.57) factors. We advanced all scale scores to concurrent validity tests. Elite and non-elite groups did not differ on any scale and no scale correlated with deliberate practice, ps>30. Controlling for age, unidimensional CFC-12 (r=.28) and CFC-12 Future (r=.24) correlated with the number of years athletes were willing to continue to reach their peak, ps<.05. CFC-12 Future correlated with future sport self (r=.41, p=.001), meaning adolescents who considered long-term consequences of their training also reported higher drive to reach the upper echelon of sport in the long-term. Although the factorability of the CFC-A appears preferable and has conceptual merits, our scales failed to perform better than the original CFC-12 on preliminary concurrent validity tests.

Acknowledgments: This research was funded by a grant from the Research Development Program and the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Ottawa